Since today’s teenagers spend a lot of time away from their parents, trust issues between parents and teens are more important than ever. After studying tens of thousands of families, social scientists know that trust and disclosure of information are key parts of healthy relationships between parents and teens.
Here are other important findings from these studies:
1. Teens who feel that their parents love and support them tell their parents more about what’s going on in their lives. Those teens view their parents as most trusting of them.
2. Teens who disclose the most information to their parents are less likely to become juvenile delinquents.
3. Teens who lie or keep secrets from their parents are more likely to experience low self-esteem, depression, physical complaints, stress and delinquency. This is the opposite of what researchers expected to find, as they believed that secrecy among teens would be a sign of healthy independence from parents.
4. Teens from warm, nurturing and highly interactive families have high self-esteem, which can lead to academic success and other kinds of achievement.
If you have the choice between leaving your kindergartner or your 17-year-old home alone, which one do you pick? Many would say you should choose the kindergartner because they can’t get into as much trouble as your teenager can. After all, a kindergartner won’t engage in such destructive behaviors as experimenting with drugs and alcohol, sex or gang-related activities. Nor will they text 200 friends on their cell phone and invite them over for a spontaneous party.
Does this mean your teenager needs a babysitter? No. Most researchers who study children believe that over-supervising a teen actually stunts development. What is important is to love, support and trust your teen, and respect their privacy and independence.
Experts in the field of adolescent psychology advise parents to allow their teens as much privacy as possible in areas that do not have to do with safety. For example, you can respect your teen’s privacy by not reading their emails or letters, or going through papers in their room. You can still retain the right to view everything they post online or view anything left in a public place if you still feel like your teen isn’t fully disclosing their activities to you.
It’s a fact: Most girls are more successful at single-sex schools.
They are more likely to major in traditionally male subjects such as math and science, and more likely to excel at them. They are also more apt to participate in sports, and to speak up in their classes.
At all-girls schools, girls have access to more female adult role models. They take on all the leadership roles at their schools — editor of the student newspaper, captain of the basketball team and president of the senior class.
Less distracted by boys and social pressures, girls at single-sex schools can concentrate on their studies. For this reason, and because every class is taught in a way that appeals to girls, these students achieve higher scores on their standardized tests and are more likely to go to college.
It’s a fact: Most female CEOs of large companies and women who have achieved high political office are graduates of women-only colleges.